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The Conflicting Political Ideologies in "Heart of Darkness"

Author(s): Marian Sebastian Lupu

Journal: Acta Universitatis Danubius : Communicatio
ISSN 1844-7562

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: conflict | ideology | politics | imperialism | capitalism

The present academic research undertakes to evince the political ideologies whichreside at the narrative level of the novellaunder discussion. The political ideologies share acommon feature which is conflict. “Heart of darkness,” a short story written by Joseph Conrad,is structured inasmuch as to illustrate the effects of the political tensions from the individual tothe entire humanity. The narrative evinces the imperial enterprise set in action in the BelgianCongo colony at the end of the 19thcentury, a period characterized by an insatiate race forcolonial acquisitions which was ensued between great imperial powers of Europe, Asia, andNorth America. Moreover, the central character functions as a symbol of the shatteredindividual between two distinct worlds, a viewpoint which illuminates him on the actual truthbehind the humanitarian ideals defended by great powers of Europe, Belgium in the presentcase. In short, the novella contains two kinds of conflict: the conflict at the level of theindividual who is caught between the civilized European world and the native, and the conflictradiating from political interests wherehumanitarian ideals serve to justify the actual imperialenterprise which is based on exploitation similar to the mechanisms employed by the capitalistsystem.
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